Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.







**You may contact me by e-mail at livinginbarbados[at]gmail[dot]com**

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You Animal!

A lot of evidence exists that people often resemble their pets. The visual similarities are but a part of an interesting connection. People also have animal habits, gladly most of us are potty trained early in life, so one particular habit is not as socially off-putting as it could be. Having said that, many men still have a primal instinct when the get near to a tree; they also have a difficulty holding back certain primal behavioural traits when they are near to the opposite sex. (I have to grin when I see a dog trying to mate with a chair and wonder if there are humans who are similarly challenged in terms of being able to figure out the mating game.)

Here are a few comparative types that I have identified, but I would be glad for other examples, with descriptions.
  • Squirrels: As our furry friends love to rummage and find nuts to hide away so that when winter is upon them they have a store of food during the frozen times, so some humans love to stash things away in little hidey holes, for times that are less specific, but they often could be called a rainy day. Like squirrels, who during the winter can be seen scratching their heads to remember where they hid their acorns, so their human counterparts are at a loss to remember where they hid stuff. Squirrels, unfortunately, have not yet invented money so have to either go hungry or be smart and see if they can find a nice human to put out some food for them. Their human counterparts often give up looking and head off to buy a replacement.
  • Snakes: Oh, my, my. I have only heard of these--often the butt of harsh comments--and don't really know any, whether or not they are in the grass. They are often spoken of in terms such as "Teflon people", "slippery types" meaning that they manage to slip out from under any problem or are good at hiding under a metaphorical rock until all is clear. These are the ones that are never to blame, even when their finger prints can be found all over. Children, are excused from this group because as they grow up they are either encouraged or discouraged from this shirking of responsibility.Fish:
  • Weasels: Need no description. I have only ever met these in the office work place.
  • Elephants: You know them: they never forget...anything. "Remember, I lent you a hair grip back in the summer of '75? Well, I'm still waiting for you to give it back." But they may also have selective memories, tinged with denial. "Yes. I gave it back in '82. You forget?" will be met with "If you gave it back I would have remembered." So, round and round in circles you will go, like elephants at the circus, each holding the other's tail in its trunk.
  • Bats and owls: We all have periods when our best time of day is the night. Those of us who are lovers come into their own once the darkness descends. We also have that nocturnal breed known as the "busy" person, who seems to be able to get things done only in the wee hours of the night. Working parents often fall into this latter category. But there are also those who just seem to be able to draw breath once everyone else has gone to bed. Teenagers are excused here because their body clocks are such that they wake up later in the day and want to sleep later in the night: it's really very natural for them to be "party animals" and quite unnatural for them to be expected to go to school and be alert in the early morning. (The American school system has not realised this and has teenagers going to school say at 7am, well before other school children have to start; see a recent report by the National Sleep Foundation.)
  • Vultures: These come in many forms, but they are known for carrying as well as carrion characteristics; rarely are they scrawny-looking. They can be amusing in the form of party goers who are always eating up all the food, with no regard for any of the other guests. In their Caribbean genus they are also known as "toters", always ready fly off home with their left overs.
So, I beg you, please, keep your eyes open and help me build up my list for the human zoo.

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